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98 S leg OB 2.5 replaced timing belt, gskts---HELP!


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23 replies to this topic

#1 amyksh

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Posted 27 March 2011 - 02:18 PM

My 98 subaru legacy outback 2.5 was leaking oil, so I took it in to get the gaskets replaced (timing belt, valve covers, and main seal). While they were in there, I told them to go ahead and replace the timing belt since they were going to already be "in there". The power steering pump was also leaking, so I had them replace that, as well.

Picked up the car yesterday, and to make a long story short, it is still leaking, although it may be pw str fluid, but I think still some oil. By the time I got home, it had overheated, after stopping several times on the way home. It had NO response when I stepped on the accelerator... very different car from when I dropped it off. It is really running rough right now, I am so bummed.

They are coming to tow it today, but I have very little confidence in them right now.

I have read some forums that indicated things like bleeding the engine correctly, etc. Anything anyone can tell me about what might save my car or any advice. Mechanic swears that he marked and checked the timing belt several times... I am just worried that they don't know enough about Subarus.

Please help if you can... I am just sick about this...

#2 davebugs

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Posted 27 March 2011 - 02:38 PM

Welcome to the USMB.

Search for "burping".

Odds are great they left a bubble in the cooling system.

Now you're probably overheated it and possibly caused other damage. Some things can surface sooner than others. Head Gaskets, head warpage, and the longer failure rod bearings if it's been overheated.

Please find a shop that knows Subaru's. It'll lead to happier times with repairs.


The cliff notes version is drain the system, fill through top radiator hose.

#3 Fairtax4me

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Posted 27 March 2011 - 02:43 PM

DOHC 2.5 Overheating, rough running, sounds like blown head gasket. I won't condemn it to that right away, the cooling system might have air in it, the timing belt could have jumped due to a faulty tensioner creating the poor running/no power problems.
Maybe the shop didn't purge the air from the cooling system properly, that would lead to the overheating, but overheating that engine leads to other bad things very quickly.
Take it back to the shop that did the work and give them the chance to make it right. (Don't drive it, make them pay to tow it in) If they can't you start asking for some money back. Then go to a Subaru shop that can fix it right.

How many miles are on this engine?

#4 grossgary

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Posted 27 March 2011 - 08:44 PM

Like Dave said - these things notoriously overheat when they don't get burped or have air in the system. Classic issue. Even myself, who knows this, and knows how to bleed them has gotten bit by the "Crap it's overheating" bug after having the coolant system opened. Which they probably did to get easier access to the timing belt.

If it didn't have issues prior to taking it in then it shouldn't be the headgasket - that would be bizarre coincidence.

These engines are notorious for blowing headgaskets, do not drive it overheating.

Also - it can't be towed by a normal tow truck, has to be a flatbed due to the 4WD. Make sure they flat bed it or it stands to damage the trans.

#5 bheinen74

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Posted 27 March 2011 - 09:07 PM

Sounds typical of what i see repair shops do to Subarus around here. They don't do proper work..don't get the coolant burping is needed, etc, don't know about the proper towing of them. They might have even used the wrong marks when doing the timing belt, and if that is the case, then hopefully it didn't ruin something.

#6 amyksh

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Posted 01 April 2011 - 09:17 AM

Ok, so turns out the hose on the bottom of the radiator was collapsed with suction, so, after they burped this radiator and such, it is not overheating anymore, staying stable.

The mechanic called me after towing the car, and says it's the knock sensor...
so, I tell him to replace it. Get the car back after four days, and it's still sounds like it's "missing"...it's gurgling and sputtering. I think it's because it ran really low on gas, the mechanic ran it well below empty. So, I drive it for a while after some fresh gasoline, and it clears out a little bit, but after parking it for an hour, the CHECK ENGINE light comes on.... when I accelerate, it starts flashing, I KNOW THIS IS NOT GOOD, so I carefully take it to AUTOZONE to run a check on it, as it is 8pm. They say one of the cylinders in misfiring. They tell me it could be any number of things...plugs, wires, but I just keep thinking it's the timing belt, (maybe off ONE NOTCH)....

Question: Do I need to use OEM wires, if I replace? Do I need to use NGK sparks? Please advise.

Taking it to a different mechanic today, I am just sick, I feel like they wrecked my engine/valves...

Any suggestions, folks, I am running out of options.:confused::mad:

#7 davebugs

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Posted 01 April 2011 - 09:26 AM

2.5's like OEM wires.

Get the cheap NGK's with the green writing BKR6E's or something. They are like 2 bucks each.

Don't forget on this engine an electrical missfire on one cylinder will also generate a code on the opposing cylinder. So if the missfire if for 1&2, or 3&4 it could still be one bad plugwire or plug, or the coil pack.

#8 amyksh

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Posted 01 April 2011 - 09:28 AM

2.5's like OEM wires.

Get the cheap NGK's with the green writing BKR6E's or something. They are like 2 bucks each.

Don't forget on this engine an electrical missfire on one cylinder will also generate a code on the opposing cylinder. So if the missfire if for 1&2, or 3&4 it could still be one bad plugwire or plug, or the coil pack.


Thanks SO MUCH for your quick reply!

#9 amyksh

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Posted 01 April 2011 - 09:37 AM

I have the slips from the AUTOZONE computer diagnostic:

They are as follows:
1. Cylinder 4 misfire detected.

2. Idle control system RPM higher than expected.

This hurts... for whatever it's worth, I got the old timing belt back and it was in mint condition... SHOULD HAVE NEVER TOLD THEM TO REPLACE. Ouch again.

#10 davebugs

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Posted 01 April 2011 - 09:38 AM

You also still may not be correctly burped.

Make sure wen you think it's o.k. take the car on a 45 mintue to 1 hour drive. See if it overheats. No AC on (yes I know it's wnter).

If it overheats it's still not burped correctly and/or HG troubles.

Most of the timing can be rather easily checked by removing the timing covers on both ends/sides. To make sure the timing mark on the crankshaft is set proper it's a bigger deal (more to remove).

#11 davebugs

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Posted 01 April 2011 - 09:40 AM

One cylinder missfire is a bit rare. Usually means it's not an electrical/ignition issue.

I'm outta here soon for several hours. Someone else should pick up with your questions.

#12 bstone

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Posted 01 April 2011 - 11:19 AM

You *really* want to use OE plugs and wires on this model Subaru. I have the 97 OBW and it's really, really picky. Aftermarket parts just don't cut it- end up having misfires and other headaches.

Fix the misfire and then we'll figure out about the other code (which I think is a P1507).

#13 amyksh

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Posted 01 April 2011 - 03:04 PM

How difficult to replace wires and plugs on this model? I ordered the wires from the dealer, and got the NGK plugs...

FYI- First code is P0304-Cylinder 4 misfire detected. Second code is P0507 Idle control system RPM higher than expected.

I have replaced wires and plugs on other vehicles... I looked at it, and it looks a little tight. Also, do I have to gap the plugs? If so, where do I find the gap dimension? Also, since I have the plugs, should I replace those right away, or should I wait until Tuesday, when I get the OEM wires?

Thanks so much for you help... this is the greatest forum EVER!

#14 Fuzpile

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Posted 01 April 2011 - 05:36 PM

Your distress about this is perceived. The gap in your plugs is listed as .039-.043. The NGK base type as listed here is PFR5B-11 That collapsed bottom hose concerns me.I haven't heard or seen that in a long time. The pros here probably have...not good. The wire socket/plug is sometimes difficult to remove and if you have the car down awhile, you could remove just that one and use the old wire until later. Something about #4 is that you gotta really get your arm and adaptors/extension in there to get to it. There's a lot of "stuff" in the way if set up like a 2.2 of same year. So it's good to see what you can about #4 before you start; loose injector conn or wire laying on hot manifold or excessive oil... There are little vac hoses which can be brushed off or split before or after getting out a tight sparkplug. Egr and Iacv whatever can cause rough running and a code.
Actually it could be that he ran it so dry it picked up water and fouled an injector. Always something :banana::banana:

#15 davebugs

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Posted 01 April 2011 - 06:47 PM

There is probably a how-to on shanging plugs somewhere here.

You gotta be patient.

Perhaps remove windshield washer reservoir and battery.

I find a rediculosely(sp?) long extension or series of extensions helps. On the drivers side often it's easier to extend out to above the fender and use your ratchet literally outside of the engine bay. I use a swivel spark plug socket. For some reason I recall on one type of Subaru engine that my 1"(that short) snap-on extension is needed.

Hose clamp pliers (if you have them - handy tool) are often best way to remove wires from plugs in manual method doesn't work.

Dont' forget anti-seiza and dielectric grease for new plugs.

Those NGK's are usually gapped already - I believe tha gap is the "-11" part of the plug #.

#16 bheinen74

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Posted 01 April 2011 - 07:45 PM

NGK does a really decent quality control on the pre-gapping. I always check them, most all times dead on what they are supposed to be. I had an occasional one or 2 plugs off a slight bit, but nothing too far out.

#17 Fuzpile

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Posted 02 April 2011 - 03:30 AM

Yep you're right. 2 outa 4 I wouldn't even touch. that 1.01MM works out to .03976".

Edited by Fuzpile, 02 April 2011 - 03:44 AM.


#18 amyksh

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Posted 03 April 2011 - 10:04 AM

Ok, so took the car to a trusted family mechanic, who seems to understand that a Subaru engine can be tricky to work on. After inspection, he tells me that he is almost 100% certain that I have warped a cylinder. He inspects wires and plugs and says they look like new. He tells me that the subaru has a zero tolerance timing belt, and if it is not installed exactly perfect...when you start the vehicle, a cylinder will be damaged. (He went into a lot more detail, about pistons and floating and such) The idle is set artificially high at 1800rpm, which he believes the mechanic may have done to mask the bad cylinder. He said if it is set at normal...it would shake like crazy...

He told me that if it were his shop to make this mistake, he would fix it, which would be a valve job. He also said it may need the IAC valve... He said to take it back to the first shop, for the 3rd time, and give them a chance to fix it. I told him about my lack of confidence, but he said they deserved a shot. So, I take the car to them...

The owner comes out and I tell him I have taken the vehicle to another shop and determined that he has ruined my engine, that the timing belt was not installed correctly, and that a cylinder is misfiring due to this, and the vehicle needs a valve job now. He starts screaming that he is not going to put another penny into my vehicle, and I am just trying to scam him. I ask him if this behavior is really how he wants to respond to my concern, and I tell him, that if it is he should be aware that I will be disputing the credit card charges in their entirey, due to his lack of concern and cooperation, and the impending bill to fix my vehicle. He screams that he will sue me and put a lien on my vehicle. I simply say "WHAT VEHICLE?" and get in my car and drive away.

Beware of a shop that truly doesn't stand behind their work. Here I am sitting with a vehicle that cannot be driven far without possible further damage and failure, agonizing over fixing a few oil leaks...

Any advice, friends?

#19 davebugs

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Posted 03 April 2011 - 10:16 AM

Hopefully someone here can point you to a good independent shop.

#20 bstone

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Posted 03 April 2011 - 11:42 AM

You need to start a paper trail in order to win any future dispute. Send the owner a letter in the US Mail via certified mail. In it you need to summarize the entire issue and offer him an opportunity to fix it. Say you expect to hear from him within 10 days. If he doesn't reply then dispute the charges. If he sues you then you have a paper trail to show the judge (or credit card company) that you've tried to resolve the issue.

#21 amyksh

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Posted 03 April 2011 - 07:26 PM

You need to start a paper trail in order to win any future dispute. Send the owner a letter in the US Mail via certified mail. In it you need to summarize the entire issue and offer him an opportunity to fix it. Say you expect to hear from him within 10 days. If he doesn't reply then dispute the charges. If he sues you then you have a paper trail to show the judge (or credit card company) that you've tried to resolve the issue.


Thanks, good idea!

#22 GeneralDisorder

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Posted 03 April 2011 - 07:46 PM

Based on your second-hand account of what the "family friend mechanic" told you.... he doesn't know squat. I seriously doubt the shop that did the work the first time does either. I don't think anyone that you have taken the car to really knows a damn thing about what they are talking about. You don't claim an engine has valve damage without some kind of hard evidence and plug wires routinely "look fine" and are definitely not. I see no evidence that any of these people have the first clue about Subaru engines nor even basic mechanical troubleshooting.

Get that car to a GOOD mechanic. You have struck out twice.

That said - you need someone to verfiy the valve timing on the belt, run a compression and leak down check, and find out what, if any, internal damage has been done.

Beyond that - get a set of OEM plug wires from the dealer and some NGK plugs. Probably clear up the misfireing.

GD

#23 amyksh

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Posted 04 April 2011 - 12:13 PM

Based on your second-hand account of what the "family friend mechanic" told you.... he doesn't know squat. I seriously doubt the shop that did the work the first time does either. I don't think anyone that you have taken the car to really knows a damn thing about what they are talking about. You don't claim an engine has valve damage without some kind of hard evidence and plug wires routinely "look fine" and are definitely not. I see no evidence that any of these people have the first clue about Subaru engines nor even basic mechanical troubleshooting.

**I had read about cylinder compression tests, and that was my next thought, and to get timing checked***

Get that car to a GOOD mechanic.You have struck out twice.

That said - you need someone to verfiy the valve timing on the belt, run a compression and leak down check, and find out what, if any, internal damage has been done.

Beyond that - get a set of OEM plug wires from the dealer and some NGK plugs. Probably clear up the misfireing.

GD

Thanks, I really need specifics... have the plugs, wires on order... FINDING A good subaru mechanic is more difficult that one would think, I have posted and sent messages to the people who live near me on here... I am between Rockford, IL and Chicago, IL...

Funny thing is---this is my 2nd Subaru, and I have had the BEST of luck and NO engine problems until now... I love my subaru...LOVE.

Thanks for the info, I really appreciate it---currently scouring for a good subaru engine mechanic...

#24 GeneralDisorder

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Posted 04 April 2011 - 01:00 PM

You are on the right track contacting members here that are in your area. If you were in the PNW it wouldn't be a problem as there are many of us that have the knowledge are are happy to assist a fellow member.....

I don't think your problems are related to the Subaru engine designe but rather a lack of knowledge and understanding on the part of the "mechanics" that have worked on it thus far. Clearly something went wrong or was improperly handled by the shop that was supposed to simply fix some oil leaks. We can't blame Subaru for the incompetance of these hack mechanics.

Have you thought about getting a tool set and trying some simple things yourself? You would be way ahead of the game in terms of price - a few hours labor at most shops would easily pay for the tools you would need. Verifying the timing on the belt for example is reasonably easy to do with only a few tools and we can walk you through the process.

A compression tester is about $10 from Harbor Frieght tools.... you need only a 1/4" drive socket set to remove the outer belt covers and then a 22mm socket and 1/2" ratchet to turn the engine over by hand and check the belt sprocket marks.....

GD

Edited by GeneralDisorder, 04 April 2011 - 01:04 PM.





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